Team USA Olympics: The gymnastics team was supposed to turn things around this summer. On Monday, the team exhibited a ton of promise after qualifying second heading into the finals. But when it was money time, the Americans finished in fifth place, just as they did in London.
Japanese sensation Kohei Uchimura, considered by many as the best gymnast in the world, put on an incredible performance with 274.094 points as Japan won the gold medal by 2.64 points.
Japan managed to upstage China, the two-time defending champions, while the Russians edged the Chinese for the silver medal.
Prior to the Rio Games, there was a ton of talk about the American gymnastics team prepared to beat the Chinese and the Japanese. Sadly, all that talk proved futile on the reckoning day.
Team USA Olympics: Dannel Leyva slips
The American hopes were riding on Dannel Leyva, who replaced the injured John Orozco in Team USA. Leyva was the only bright spot and nearly helped the Americans overcome fourth-place Great Britain. However, he slipped on the horizontal bar (while performing his routine) and that sealed the fate of the Americans.
“I still feel like it was my fault. I was the last routine and I should have hit, no matter what,” Leyva rued after the event, blaming himself for Team USA’s fifth place.
“I can’t tell you what I did. Honestly, it was because of my grips. They just weren’t on the bar,” added Leyva, who was backed by his coach despite the final mishap.
Team USA won a silver medal at the 2004 Athens Games and a bronze at the 2008 Beijing Games. By finishing fifth in back-to-back Olympic Games (London and Rio), the Americans have once again failed to deliver in gymnastics. Perhaps, it’s time to go back to the drawing board before the next games.
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